Optimism is Hope

Don D | Physician |

To be optimistic is to see the proverbial glass half full. For me, optimism is seeing the sun rising on the horizon and

setting at the end of the day; it is a full moon lighting up the sky at night, and the smiles of my children when I come home.

Optimism is hope; hope for a new day and the promise of something better awaiting all of us in the future. For those of us treating cancer, optimism is where we stand right now as the mechanisms and biology of cancer and cancer progression are being better elucidated, which will hopefully lead to shifts in the characterization of this disease and even better, more tailored, more personified, approaches to treatment.


  1. I think of optimism as something very close to the idea of positive thinking. Optimism can be a very helpful trait for oncology professionals as well as for people living with cancer—it can be a constructive way to cope with the uncertainty and the many challenges that are so much a part of cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment.

    In my experience, however, there can be a point where optimism and positive thinking are less than helpful if there is not also room for acknowledging the loss and suffering that is part of living with cancer. Patients sometimes tell us that they feel a kind of pressure to be optimistic or positive. This can be a burden, if it feels like loved ones or professional caregivers are not letting them know that it is equally acceptable to feel otherwise. So, it is a matter of balance, and a matter of creating a community for patients, family members and practitioners alike that acknowledges and embraces the full range of feelings and attitudes that accompany the experience of living with cancer.

    David B. | | 2:34pm

Share Your Thoughts

Please remember that your posts and comments are available for all to see. For your privacy, you should consider carefully before posting personal medical information to the internet. This site does not offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

We reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive or that contain foul language, spam or advertisements for commercial products. Disagreements and feedback/criticism are welcome, but mutual respect is a must.

Part of the conversation "Optimistic"